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Tried to help but looks like we are worse off!

 
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Truffle



Joined: 23 Jun 2017
Posts: 5
Location: Braunton, North Devon

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:41 pm    Post subject: Tried to help but looks like we are worse off! Reply with quote

This is our second season of letting. We use an agent and have had no problems up to now.
We had three weeks available (last week, this week and next week) before then being fully booked for the rest of the season. Our normal changeover day is Saturday but we took a call from the agent on Friday to ask if we would take a family booking from that night as they had checked into their booked accommodation and weren't happy. Apparently they were not happy with the cleanliness but later more gripes came out of the woodwork.
We said we would take the booking, then it didn't look as if it would happen as the guests didn't want to come to our village. Then they changed their mind and came.
My sister is our local housekeeper and she went to greet the guests. They were complaining from the word go - not about our house but about the location. They also were complaining about the original house and its location. They were rude.
Anyway, my sister went to see the agent the next morning, the guests were already in the office kicking off.
They did not complain about our property but it was not what they had wanted. The long and the short of it was that the agent gave them three choices - stay at ours, go back to the original or go home. They went home. Our property was left absolutely fine.
We had to carry out full changeover procedures. The agent is saying they will pay us for one night.
I have pointed out that we still have the same costs as for a full week booking or a short break which would be four days. The agent has now said they will cover half our cleaning costs.
I have also noticed that their website has the full week still blocked out so no one looking on the internet will be able to book. The agent acknowledges this but explains it is because it is complicated because of the refund they have to make to the guests.
We would never have taken a one night booking. I feel we should receive payment for however many days are blocked out and cannot be booked. Our cleaning costs are our own affair as they happen with all bookings. They are discussing it further at the moment but the whole week still shows as booked up to Friday, realistically no one is going to book from Wednesday to Saturday now.
Do you feel I am justified in asking for this?
Thank you.
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 825
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes
Stick to your guns. Half the cleaning cost is rediculous. There were no complaints about your property so you should get more than 1 nights payments. You would not necessarily get the full payment as no utilities were used after the first night but you did incur full cleaning costs.
I would want a lot more than you have been offered but would probably compromise (eventually) on not getting the full weeks payment
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Truffle



Joined: 23 Jun 2017
Posts: 5
Location: Braunton, North Devon

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The site still shows our property as unavailable, this is the really irritating thing. Obviously, if someone telephones to enquire they can be told it is available but anyone just looking on the internet will not see it available until Friday.
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FelicityA



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 2803
Location: Cotswolds

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I reckon the agents owe you for how ever many days they had reserved it for THEIR clients. You stopped advertising (or rather they did) for the unused days. You made all your life plans around that week being booked, didn't you? You have been thoroughly inconvenienced by having to get it ready for a now unlikely booking on the 'wrong' day. It is a veritable catalogue of problems THEY have created for you by the stop and start procedure and now they are even preventing new people from seeing you are available. They owe you.
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 5975
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no direct experience of using agents, but simple business ethics put yours squarely in the wrong. Why are they refunding the guests at your expense? It seems as though thatís two separate transactions: the agent with you, and the agent with the guest. The agent has reserved the right to your property for the full week - which is just another way of saying they booked it. Okay, thereís room for a compromise, but a compromise requires your agreement and needs to be weighted in your favour; itís not something they impose.
If the agent was Sykes nobody would be surprised at their actions, but itís reasonable to expect other agents to show more professionalism towards the owners who keep them employed.
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Pirou



Joined: 30 Jan 2017
Posts: 55
Location: A bit north of Pirou, Normandy (50)

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my probably over simple opinion, as the property is still showing booked on the website the agency or customers are still responsible for paying for it. If a week is blocked it is because it is generating revenue (or family or friends are staying but don't lets get complicated Wink ) so as long as the agency has your property blocked you are owed rent for each day. That is the way I'd approach it.
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Truffle



Joined: 23 Jun 2017
Posts: 5
Location: Braunton, North Devon

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone, you all seem to see it how we do. I will speak to the agents again today.
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Giraffe



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
Posts: 382
Location: Cornwall, England

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course the agent owes you for the week's booking. What they are doing is passing their problem and costs on to you - in management speak it's called "passing the monkey". Make sure the monkey sits on the shoulder of the agent.
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Cymraes



Joined: 07 Jul 2015
Posts: 343
Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What does your legal agreement with the agency say should happen in this situation?
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 825
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When the agent rang to ask you to accept the booking, did they quote the price you would receive? (Some agents discount last minute bookings with owners permission. When I had an agent they would ring and include the price when getting approval for a late booking)
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Truffle



Joined: 23 Jun 2017
Posts: 5
Location: Braunton, North Devon

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am in the process of digging out our contract and seeing if I can see how this should be dealt with.
When we were contacted, we were asked if we could take the guests for the full week. We then received a booking confirmation for the week. Incidentally we received that confirmation after the guests had left on the Saturday.
The reservation block out was lifted partway through today. Agents have still not come back to me so I shall continue to pore over the terms of the contract before getting back to them.
I'm not trying to get something for nothing but the reality is that no one else could book this week.
I'll let you know how I get on.
It's not Sykes.
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squirrel



Joined: 22 Sep 2006
Posts: 64
Location: Kent UK

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No good deed goes unpunished! !
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Truffle



Joined: 23 Jun 2017
Posts: 5
Location: Braunton, North Devon

PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They have agreed to pay the five nights we were blocked out on their website.
We are happy with that.
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 825
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Success!
Well done!
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FelicityA



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 2803
Location: Cotswolds

PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, brilliant. They were trying to pull a fast one, weren't they! Doggedness wins in the end!
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